Learn how to write programs that are safe from bugs, easy to understand, and ready for change. This computer science course is the first of a two-course sequence about writing good software using modern software engineering techniques.
Welcome to our course on Object Oriented Programming in Java using data visualization. People come to this course with many different goals -- and we are really excited to work with all of you! Some of you want to be professional software developers, others want to improve your programming skills to implement that cool personal project that you’ve been thinking about, while others of you might not yet know why you’re here and are trying to figure out what this course is all about.
This is an intermediate Java course. We recommend this course to learners who have previous experience in software development or a background in computer science. Our goal is that by the end of this course each and every one of you feels empowered to create a Java program that’s more advanced than any you have created in the past and that is personally interesting to you. In achieving this goal you will also learn the fundamentals of Object Oriented Programming, how to leverage the power of existing libraries, how to build graphical user interfaces, and how to use some core algorithms for searching and sorting data. And this course is project-based, so we’ll dive right into the project immediately!
We are excited to be offering a unique course structure, designed to support learners of different backgrounds in succeeding at their own pace. The first module explains how this will work and if this course is right for you. We also recommend taking a few minutes to explore the course site. A good place to start is the navigation bar on the left. Click Course Content to see what material we’ll cover each week, as well preview the assignments you’ll need to complete to pass the course. Click Discussions to see forums where you can discuss the course material with fellow students taking the class. Be sure to introduce yourself to everyone in the Meet and Greet forum.
This course should take about 6 weeks to complete. You can check out the recommended course schedule below to see a quick overview of the lessons and assignments you’ll complete each week.
We’re excited you’re here learning with us. Let’s get started!
Course 1 of 5 in the Object Oriented Java Programming: Data Structures and Beyond Specialization.
Welcome and Project Overview: Visualizing Data
Welcome to the first week of our course. In this week, we'll get started by introducing ourselves and the Google engineers who will be making appearances throughout the course. We'll also give you of the unique video series we provide and help you understand how to navigate the course to get the most out of it given your background and learning speed. Finally, we'll jump right into the course programming project. We know some of you might be a little intimidated by this aspect of the course, but we'll walk you through the setup and your first assignment so you'll be having fun with it in no time. Let's get started!
Objects, Memory Models, and Scope
We hope you’re excited about the project that we're starting to build -- we sure are! In this second part of the course, we’re going to briefly step away from writing project code and learn some fundamentals of object oriented programming. Specifically, being able to trace code is a key skill in becoming a stronger programmer. This module might be a bit of a review of material you have learned in your first Java programming course. If that’s the case, you are always welcome to skip right to the end-of-week assessment, which for this week is a quiz. Also remember there are many paths you can take through the different videos:The Core videos introduce the basic material. If you learn well from lectures alone, then watching only these videos might work for you. The Concept Challenge videos test your learning of material you just watched. These videos will give you practice to make sure you’re prepared for the quizzes and the programming assignments. Most learners will find them helpful in addition to the Core video series. The Support series videos give you a little extra practice and guidance when you feel you need it. Finally, the In the Real World, and When I Struggled video series relate the concepts and skills you are learning to real-life experiences and situations. Play around with watching and/or skipping the different video types until you find a combination of that works best for your learning.
Graphical output: Creating GUIs and Displaying Data
Now that you have the tools to write and trace object oriented code, let’s get back to developing the project! In this first (real) part of the project, you will create an interactive graphical map that will display geospatial data. This is a highly interactive week, so make sure you’ve got Eclipse loaded up! We encourage you to play around as you watch the videos. Some of the code that we use in the videos is in the demos package in the starter code you set up for this course. Open it up and experiment with it while you're watching the videos. We also encourage you to dive right into the programming project, even before watching the videos, if you want. The programming assignment instructions are in the last lesson of this week - you can watch a video walkthrough of the instructions and also read the step-by-step directions in the accompanying reading. There’s lots of room for creativity, too, so have fun!
Now that you’re in full swing with the project, let’s take a closer look at some concepts that you have already been using in your code. Specifically, the keyword “extends”. What exactly does it mean that your program “extends PApplet”? To answer this question we’ll need to dive into the details of how Java allows for Class Hierarchies through Inheritance and Polymorphism. These fundamental and powerful concepts will serve you well in the future! We’ll use these ideas to allow for displaying markers differently. If you feel you’re already comfortable with Inheritance and Polymorphism, feel free to dive straight into the project (programming assignment) for this week. As you work with the project, feel free to have some fun and introduce new levels of class hierarchies for improved functionality.
GUIs: Responding to User Events
You’ve reached an exciting point in the project - in this week you’ll add interactivity to your map! You’ll be learning how to design event-driven programs, using a new and powerful programming paradigm. Your map will now respond to mouse hovers and clicks. As always, make sure you're writing code along with us as you watch the videos and work through the week. Also, feel free to dive into the programming assignment (project) whenever you are ready
Searching and Sorting: From Code to Algorithms
You've come a long way in this course, and you've got a great project to show for it. In this last module we'll shift gears a bit to talk about some very exciting and fundamental algorithms for finding and sorting data in an array. Searching and sorting algorithms are not only fundamental to computer science, but also ideal for beginning to explore issues of algorithm efficiency. We will only begin to touch on issues of algorithm efficiency here. We will say much more about it in the next course in this specialization, so we hope you will continue with us. We'll also apply sorting to your project, and you'll wrap things up by finishing your project with an extension of your own choosing.
What? Another week? Well, there's no new content to learn, but we wanted to give you a little buffer time to work on your projects and your peer review assignments and reviews. So take this time to make sure you've got the best project you can produce, and to get some ungraded feedback from your peers on your peer review assignment. Just make sure you're all finished up with your graded submission and your peer reviews well before the end of course deadline. We're looking forward to seeing you in our next class!